Reelsville dog breeder among national Humane Society's 'Horrible Hundred'

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Putnam County dog breeder is reportedly among four Indiana canine operations making the Humane Society's "Horrible Hundred" list of so-called puppy mills across the country.

In what is the sixth year for the Humane Society report, a Reelsville area dog breeder is listed along with Hoosier operations in Montgomery and Odon (both in Daviess County) and Greens Fork (Wayne County).

The report indicates that in October 2017 inspectors of the Reelsville location found five dogs in need of veterinary care, including dogs with runny, red eyes and signs of dental disease.

It should be noted that although the report stops short of unequivocally naming the dog breeder, it definitely is not Shepherd's Hill, a working line German Shepherd operation owned by Patrick and Susan Havey of Reelsville. Shepherd's Hill is the breeder where Cain, the Greencastle City Police drug dog, was born.

Meanwhile, in a January 2018 inspection the Montgomery location had underweight boxers whose ribs and hip bones were showing, along with crusty eyes and flaking skin. Another dog had what was described as "explosive diarrhea"for weeks.

At the Odon location in September 2017, USDA inspectors found puppies lying on their backs, panting heavily with signs of heat stress in a sweltering kennel building with a heat index of 103 degrees. A second building exhibiting a heat index of 108 degrees had more dogs panting heavily inside, plus a nursing mother found "lying flat out and panting."

The Greens Fork location had a puppy found dead in its water bowl with bloody wounds in August 2017, and another dog with a large wound that hadn't been treated. Several other puppies were denied adequate shelter from the wind and rain.

While making this year's report public, the USDA has redacted the names of dealers on its public Animal Welfare Act records, including all four Indiana dealers named in the Horrible Hundred.

"The USDA removed most of the public enforcement records on puppy mills," the Humane Society reported, "and other types of regulated animal dealers, from its website on Feb. 3, 2017."

Over the next several months, the USDA restored some records on other types of animal dealers, such as research animal dealers and large public zoos and aquariums, but most of the agency's online inspection reports of pet breeders still have the licensee's name, business name and license number blacked out.

Over the 12-month period since it published its last report, USDA inspectors have continued to find conditions just as horrific as those in prior reports, including dogs with open wounds, emaciated dogs with their ribs and spines showing and dogs with moldy food, dirty water and filthy cages.

The difference is that this year, the public won't always know which operators have been found with such conditions.

"The suffering these animals face seems even more unjust," the Humane Society noted, "because most of the identities of their breeders have been kept secret by the USDA -- the very agency charged with protecting dogs in puppy mills and keeping bad breeders in line. Additionally, consumers cannot judge whether or not they are supporting an operation which has been found employing the harmful practices described in this report.

"For dogs in puppy mills," the Humane Society concluded, "conditions like these are the norm. And no matter what the sellers say, breeders like these are the source of most dogs sold online, in pet stores or at flea markets."

While Indiana has four dog breeders on the Horrible Hundred list, Missouri has been ranked the worst all six years of the report, with nearly one-fourth of the entire list this year. Meanwhile, Ohio has 13 breeders on the list, while Iowa has 10.

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  • So what is the point of this study if you're going to redact the names? How is anyone suppose to know who the breeders are to avoid?

    -- Posted by hometownboy on Wed, May 23, 2018, at 8:33 AM
  • I agree put their names out there so no one does business with them or shut them down !!they have no right doing this treating animals like this

    -- Posted by sharonrose942 on Wed, May 23, 2018, at 8:59 AM
  • I agree. They plaster everyone else's names in the paper....hmmmm.

    -- Posted by canttakeitanymore on Wed, May 23, 2018, at 8:59 AM
  • The Humane Society report says it was Mark D. Lynch of LBL Kennels.

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Wed, May 23, 2018, at 11:21 AM
  • The ugly side of supply & demand.

    For if there is demand (for certain breeds of dogs), there will be a supply.

    An unscrupulous breeder will treat his animals badly, looking simply for an increased return on his investment.

    However, the "honorable" breeder also contributes to this problem by making their own animals cost-prohibitive to the average family.

    I have been looking for a family dog - and will consider several breeds or mixes of breeds - but I am not willing to pay the prices asked. If I were intent on a specific breed, the cost would easily top $700 to $1000. For a dog.

    Even a lot of the so-called "rescues" are in on the game...

    -- Posted by AverageWhiteGuy on Wed, May 23, 2018, at 12:09 PM
  • Try the local humane society "WhiteGuy."

    -- Posted by Geologist on Wed, May 23, 2018, at 9:11 PM
  • May I suggest to the "Average White Guy" that he revisit some of the rescue centers? There are very sweet dogs that would love to have a family of their own, and the cost, which covers their food, the spaying/neutering, shots, and vet services are usually in the $300.00 range. We have two rescues and a registered breed dog as well. We paid $300 for the rescue and the breed dog we have had for several years is now running about $800.00. (We did not pay that much!) We love them all dearly, and I would encourage anyone to give these guys a second look.

    -- Posted by vincenteunice46 on Thu, May 24, 2018, at 1:57 PM
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